Here’s a look at some of the promising incoming Cal Poly freshmen athletes looking to hone their skills and show their talent on Mustang turf.
Kyle Smith (Baseball)
Smith comes to Cal Poly from Fresno, where he hit .430 with eight home runs and 36 RBI in his final year of high school. The shortstop was named to the all-state and all-valley baseball teams and was honored as the Fresno Bee Player of the Year. In coming to Cal Poly, Smith said he hopes to get started strong both athletically and academically. But he said his ultimate goal does not differ from those of any other Division I baseball player – to play professionally.
Jose Garcia (Men’s soccer)
Garcia, a Redwood City native, joins first-year head coach Paul Holocher as a new addition to the men’s soccer team.
“I know it is going to be 10 times harder and 10 times faster and the challenge is the exciting part for me,” Garcia said. He was recruited by the Mustangs after attending a Cal Poly-hosted soccer camp. He landed himself on the all-league team all four years of high school. The outside/center midfielder was also honored with Offensive Player of the Year his junior and senior years.
Charles Anderson (Men’s basketball)
The lone incoming freshman on the men’s basketball team, Anderson said he chose Cal Poly because of the “good area, good people.” Anderson, who plays shooting guard and small forward, hails from Fresno, where he was a teammate of Cal Poly sophomore power forward Titus Shelton. During high school, Anderson was named first-team all-league for three years, and for two years was an all-area selection. He said his goal for the team next year is to help Cal Poly reach its first NCAA Tournament since joining Division I in 1994.
Kimberly Donatelli (Cross country)
Donatelli is following in her family’s footsteps by attending Cal Poly. Both of the 17-year-old’s parents attended Cal Poly and her grandparents also live in the area. For Donatelli, the family history, Central Coast location, and Cal Poly’s academic prestige made it the perfect place to continue her running career. Donatelli, a Ventura native, is making the move to San Luis Obispo in hopes of bettering her 17:36 three-mile, 11:02 two-mile and 5:08 mile times, as well as creating bonds with her teammates.
Brittany Blalock (Women’s tennis)
Blalock comes to Cal Poly with the aim to “go far as an individual and help the team as a whole.” If her high school performances are any indication of what’s yet to come, Blalock should be in good shape. She was part of a three-year league-champion high school tennis team in her Rancho Mirage, Calif., hometown. During her sophomore, junior and senior years she dominated league at singles. As a freshman, she was part of a league-winning doubles pair. Blalock was an academic scholar as well, ranked 15th in her high school’s graduating class.
Carrie Andrews (Women’s soccer)
As a high school senior, Andrews was named the Contra Costa Times’ Girls Soccer Player of the Year for her part in the team reaching the CIF-North Coast Section 3A championship game for three consecutive years. The outside/center defensive player, who comes to Cal Poly from Pleasanton, Calif., was also named first-team all-league her senior year. Andrews said she is excited for the heightened competition and more experienced players that she will encounter as a member of the Cal Poly women’s soccer team.
Katherine Hinkle (Volleyball)
Hinkle thinks San Luis Obispo is “a perfect little town.” The Santa Barbara native has known for “a long time” that she would like to attend Cal Poly as she had no desire to venture south post-high school. As a member of the volleyball team, Hinkle, an outside hitter, is hoping to be a part of an NCAA Tournament-bound team, and to maybe get a little court time too. In her senior year, she was named Most Valuable Player on her high school volleyball team and was placed on both first-team all-league and second-team all-CIF lists.
Madeline Fletcher (Women’s golf)
Fletcher, a Los Alamitos native, has been golfing competitively for six years, after her grandparents introduced her to the sport. Fletcher has earned accolades in her high school district and surrounding areas. She was named the Southern California PGA Player of the Year in 2003, and was placed in the Lakewood Hall of Fame, honoring top athletes in the district, her sophomore, junior and senior years of high school. At Cal Poly, Fletcher is looking to further hone her golfing skills and make a significant contribution to the team.
Geoff Gonzalez (Men’s golf)
Like Fletcher, Gonzalez’s grandfather was his first link to golf, which he has been playing for 12 years. The Diablo native chose Cal Poly because of its academic reputation and successful golf team. Gonzalez is looking forward to meeting new people and contributing to last year’s Big West Conference champion men’s golf team. “I just hope to add something to the team because they’ve been good.”
Kyle Maddux (Football)
Maddux comes to Cal Poly from Camarillo, where he played for Ventura-based St. Bonaventure High, which has won 95 of its last 98 games. In his time at St. Bonny, Maddux was named all-CIF and all-state and played with fellow Mustang football players Carlton Gillespie and Ryan Fink. Maddux said his goals for his time at Cal Poly are to “play football and have a good time, but more importantly to get my education.” He is prepared to redshirt his freshman year in order to prime himself for the following four years.
Krysten Cary (Softball)
Cary led her high school team in Rancho Santa Margarita to the CIF-Southern Section playoffs with six home runs and a .450 batting average over the season. Cary, who plays first base, was team captain her junior and senior years, and was named first-team all-league her final year.
Her decision to come to Cal Poly was aided by current Mustang softball player Stephanie Tam, whom Cary knows from traveling softball teams.
She said she is hoping to start in her first year at Cal Poly and “to be a good asset to the team as a freshman.”
Kevin Jones (Track and field)
Jones began pole vaulting his freshman year of high school because he heard it was the “easy sport,” and wanted a way out of physical education. His first year he vaulted a mere seven feet. Then, in the summer between his freshman and sophomore years he grew a foot, and his second year of the sport he vaulted 12.6 feet and won league in his native San Diego. The following two years, Jones repeated his league wins and continued to heighten his vaults, with a personal record of 16.4 feet. He comes to Cal Poly with the hope of qualifying for NCAA Regionals and improving his vault to more than 17 feet.
Lea Wallace (Track and field)
Wallace, a Napa native, became interested in Cal Poly through her summer track coach, a Cal Poly alumnus. Wallace said her hopes for next year would be to “improve my times and hold my own in college competition.” Her best times entering Cal Poly are a 57.2 seconds in the 400-meter, a 2:10.4 in the 800-meter and a 5:00.0 in the 1,600-meter. Wallace was twice named Most Valuable Player in both her high school cross country and track teams and was called Athlete of the Year by the Napa Valley Register.
Rebecca Tratter (Women’s basketball)
Tratter’s high school basketball career came to a disappointing end when her CIF-Central Coast Section playoffs-bound Sunnyvale team had to forfeit because a player had not turned in the correct paperwork. Despite the circumstances, Tratter, a power forward, was recognized and placed first-team all-league, and honor she received all four years of high school. She said she will be happy with any playing time she gets in her first year on the Cal Poly women’s basketball team and has hopes that the Mustangs will place first in Big West Conference and continue on to the NCAA Tournament.
Collin Brooks (Wrestling)
Brooks won the wrestling state title in his native Oregon his junior year of high school. While researching schools, he decided to leave Oregon for a California college education and Cal Poly offered his kinesiology major and “happened to coincide with wrestling,” he said. Brooks enters his first year as a Mustang “preparing to redshirt and just improve for the next year of competition.”
Robert Foy (Men’s tennis)
Foy is the lone incoming Poly player to be highlighted who hails from outside the United States. He comes to Cal Poly from New Zealand, where he gained experience in international play and was one of the country’s top junior tennis players.